What Do I Do If I’m Involved In An Auto Accident?
Getting into an accident is a very jarring experience. You are probably going to be very rattled and filled with adrenaline.
That is why it is important to know what to do if you are involved in an auto accident before one even takes place. Thankfully, the team at Paxton Law Firm is here to walk you through it.
There are essentially six steps that you need to take when you are involved in an auto accident.
Step 1: Pull Over and Make Sure Everyone is Ok
The very first step after you have been in an accident is to pull over and make sure you and everyone involved in the accident is ok. If you or anyone else is injured, it is essential that you call 911 immediately and let the dispatcher know. You should also inform the dispatcher if anyone is unconscious, bleeding, complaining of nausea, pain, or discomfort, or is asking for medical assistance. You should also note any hazards that may be of significance to the rescue team. This can include overturned cars, gas leakage, traffic problems, or other danger you can take note of.
Step 2: Report the Accident to the Police
In some cases, step two is part of step one, particularly if people at the scene are injured. However, if no one is injured, it is still important that you contact the authorities and file a police report. A police report is essential for you to have if you end up having to file a claim later.
Step 3: Gather Information about the Driver and Scene
While you are waiting for the arrival of the police officers, you should make sure to gather information about the other driver and the scene of the accident. Get the other driver’s name, contact information, insurance policy number, vehicle registration number, the vehicle makes and model, and the driver’s license number.
In addition, take pictures and notes about the damage to your vehicle as well as the other person’s vehicle. You should also try to get witness statements and as much information as you can about the accident. All of these will be important since Texas is a modified comparative negligence state.
As a modified comparative negligence state, Texas can find both parties “at fault” for the accident. If both parties are found to be “at fault” they will be given a percentage that corresponds to the amount “at fault” you are. This percentage also corresponds to the total amount you can receive in the case of a settlement.
Note: It is important that you don’t apologize or say sorry to someone after an accident. This can be seen as an admission of fault and can be used against you later on.
Step 4: Seek Medical Care
If you are injured to the point of not being able to move, skip the above steps and immediately seek medical attention. If you are injured, but still able to move, try to complete the above steps to the best of your ability. If you were not severely injured, it is still necessary to have documentation that you got medical care. Keep thorough documentation of your injuries and all of your doctor’s visits.
Step 5: Notify Insurance Company
Texas is a third-party liability state. That means that a car accident victim has the right to pursue the at-fault driver, or the at-fault driver’s insurance company, for compensation. This leaves you with three options after an accident:
In the state of Texas, drivers are required to have auto insurance. In most cases, your property damage, medical bills, and other expenses that occurred as a direct result of the accident are covered by the at-fault driver’s insurance company. That means that their insurance company should reimburse you for the amount of money that is needed to repair your vehicle and your medical bills.
However, this is not always the case. Sometimes the insurance companies will be difficult and not give you the amount you deserve, and other times the driver won’t even have insurance, to begin with. In these cases, it is important that you contact a car accident attorney and file a lawsuit.
Step 6: Call a Texas Auto Accident Attorney
After a traumatic experience such as a car accident, it can be daunting to handle a lawsuit on your own. Make sure you have a Texas auto accident attorney on your side to handle it for you. The lawyers at Paxton Law Firm are ready and available for any assistance you may need. We have helped hundreds of people get the money they deserve in a car accident lawsuit.
Don’t wait for the money to come to you, fight for it. Call us today at (281) 978-2244 or schedule a free consultation.
Do you believe you have a case? Understand that time is of the essence in getting you the justice you deserve! We would love to hear from you.